Harvey was fair, but battled through five innings on Tuesday

In last night’s 5-1 loss to the Cardinals, Matt Harvey allowed three runs and six hits with three walks and four strikeouts in five innings.

“I’ve said it before in the past, what I did tonight was crap,” Harvey said after the game. “I’m not happy about it. I want go out there and go deeper into the game. I’ve got to get quick outs and I’ve got to keep the pitch count down and I didn’t do that tonight.”

Harvey fell to 3-4 in eight starts, and his ERA rose to 3.04 for the season.

“Figuring out that I didn’t quite have my location down earlier in the game and go to something else is something I should have done and picked up on in the second inning,” Harvey said. “I didn’t do that.”

Harvey now has 53 strikeouts against only 20 walks in 47 1/3 big league innings – he’s now thrown 157 1/3 innings between Triple-A Buffalo and the big leagues this season.

“[Dan Warthen] and I were sitting down on the bench after the three-run inning,” Terry Collins explained after the game. “We kind of looked at each other and I said, ‘Now we’ll see what we got here. Let’s see if he shuts this sucker down,’ and he did. He had to work hard because they’ve got a good lineup and a good offensive club. I looked up and it’s the fifth inning and it’s still 3-0. I was impressed about how he went about his job.”

Michael Baron, Contributor

The Cardinals made Harvey work very hard last night, seemingly from his first pitch to his last. The leadoff man reached in four of Harvey’s five innings and, as he said, he didn’t throw quality strikes in the first and second inning which led to his trouble. He was throwing mostly fastballs and instead of mixing his location with it, he kept going away – the Cardinals just kept taking that pitch to the opposite field against him. The Cardinals didn’t hit anything hard against him, but they found holes, executed the little things, and managed some early runs against him.

The outing wasn’t all lost, as Terry Collins said. Harvey bore down in his final three innings of work and, while he still had to battle through some tough jams, he kept the Cardinals off the board the rest of the way. There are going to be days he doesn’t have his best stuff, and that’s been evident in his last couple of outings. At this stage of his season (his second professional season, by the way), that could be attributed to both physical and mental fatigue. But he clearly already has an idea on how to work when things aren’t going his way out there – as I said last week, he’s got a bulldog mentality, and that’s very exciting going forward.